Warning against using Microwaves to sterilise dishcloths

25th January, 2007

"News media recently transmitted information about a report by Professor Gabriel Bitton, an expert in environmental engineering at the university of Florida. The professor and colleagues claim that 99% of germs contained in a kitchen sponge or dishcloth would be killed if the item was placed in a microwave oven on full power for a period of two minutes.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue service attended a fire in the Telford area which involved a dishcloth in a microwave oven. The occupier was attempting to sterilise the dishcloth in the manner described by Professor Bitton. Fortunately the fire was contained within the microwave oven.

"Attempting to sterilise a dishcloth in this way is extremely dangerous. There are too many variable factors such as the capacity/power of the microwave oven or the moisture content of the dishcloth or sponge," said Assistant Divisional Officer, John Round.

"Shropshire Fire and Rescue service strongly advise the public not to attempt to sterilise sponges or dishcloths in this way. Attempting to do so may result in your home being destroyed."